Boxing champ Pernell Whitaker dies; hit by car in Virginia

(AP Photo/Lennox McLendon, File)

(AP) -- Pernell Whitaker, an Olympic gold medalist and four-division champion who was regarded as one of the greatest defensive fighters ever, has died after being hit by a car in Virginia. He was 55.

Police in Virginia Beach said the former fighter was hit by a car Sunday night. The driver of the car remained on the scene, and police said they were investigating the circumstances of the death.

Sweet Pea was Whitaker's nickname, and it fit perfectly. He was a master of hitting and not getting hit back, a southpaw who slipped in and out of the pocket and rarely gave an opponent an opportunity to land a clean shot.

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